Cohesion Policy Seminar
The European Commission Representation and the European Parliament Information Office for Scotland jointly hosted a seminar on 12 November on the future of the European Union's Cohesion Policy at the European Parliament office in Edinburgh.
The seminar centred on the 5th Commission Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion, which sets out the EU's priorities for the next round of cohesion funding for the period 2013 - 2020. Moray Gilland, of the Regional Policy Directorate-General, gave an overview of the Report and the changes that will be made for the next funding period. He emphasised that Cohesion Policy will be closely aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy, which seeks to combat poverty and worklessness and stimulate R&D and green energy. He also noted the need for a reduction in the administrative burden associated with applying for European funding. Dimtcho Tourdanov, for the Commission's Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Directorate-General, was also on the panel to offer his views.
The other speakers at the seminar were John Rigg of the Scottish Government's Structural Funds Division, professor Michael Keating of the University of Aberdeen, Stuart Bews of Aberdeenshire County Council and David O'Neill, the leader of North Ayrshire Council and chairman of the West of Scotland European Forum.
The event was chaired by Neil Mitchison, the head of the European Commission's representation in Scotland. The results of the European Commission's consultation on the future of cohesion policy will be published later in 2011.